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  • Webinar No: WBNR-1112
  • PDH Units: 2

Webinar No: WBNR-1112
PDH Units: 2

Profile Photo
  • Webinar No: WBNR-1112
  • PDH Units: 2

Webinar No: WBNR-1112
PDH Units: 2

Intended Audience: All Engineers
Credits: 2 PDH Units
When: Wednesday 11/1, 2 – 4 pm

Join us as we lay bare the lessons learned from the bridge failure ethical issues that arose from one of the most significant engineering failures in history: the 1940 collapse of the giant Tacoma Narrows Bridge. While there was, fortunately, no loss of human life and minimal property damage (other than the structure itself) the bridge collapse happened less than a year after it was built, bringing to light serious bridge failure ethical issues for engineers. So what lessons can we learn from this engineering failure? In particular,

  1. At what point is the profession’s theoretical and experiential knowledge insufficient to justify moving forward with a project or design scheme?
  2. Is there a practical way to supplement a lack of experiential knowledge in order to safely and effectively move an engineering project forward?

In this webinar, we'll explore the vital insights the engineering profession gained in terms of the importance of aerodynamics in bridge design as a result of the ethical dilemmas the designers of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge faced.

Date:  Wednesday. November 1st. 2 - 4 pm ET Credits: 2 PDH Units

This webinar is designed specifically for engineers, architects, and other design and construction professionals who are interested in learning about the ethical issues that were raised and the lessons engineers learned from this major engineering catastrophe.

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this webinar, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:
  • The history of the project and the economic, commercial and national security issues that shaped its development
  • Two unique engineering design approaches recommended by different teams
  • Ominous oscillations observed both prior to and after bridge construction
  • Previously unobserved mode of oscillation that occurred on the day the bridge collapsed
  • Real-life photos and live coverage at the time of bridge failure
  • The ins and outs of the technical investigation that followed the collapse
  • How the vortex-shedding/resonance theory and aerodynamic flutter theory apply to the engineering incident
  • Tacoma Narrows bridge failure ethical issues and lessons learned
  • The current tool used by engineers to address and mitigate the bridge failure ethical issues that arose after the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse

Special Webinar Instructions

After payment, please visit this webinar page, click "Start Course" and fill out the Zoom Webinar Registration Form.  You'll then be able to access the webinar slides, test your system and receive webinar reminders.  After completing the webinar requirements, your certificate of completion will be saved and available for download in your profile. We value your feedback! Please rate this webinar after completion.

Group Discounts Available

Course Reviews

  1. Thomas V DeBrock11/07/2023 at 3:34 pm

    Bridge Failure: Ethical Issues


    Content was satisfactory but the Presenter was having health problems (sniffling & coughing) as well as unfamiliarity in the use of Zoom Technology.

  2. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse


    Good information. Sometimes voice was garbled

  3. Tacoma Norrows Bridge Collapse


    Great presentation

  4. LUIS PINILLOS01/06/2021 at 9:01 am

    Clear and Interesting


    The course involve and navigate you thru the history of the collapse in a very interesting way.

  5. Brian C Spivey12/15/2020 at 4:19 pm


    Well presented, could have spent a little less time on history, though valuable and more time on aftermath. The most striking figure, needing more attention, was that the replacement cost was about as much as original projected cost. So common. PDH did good job, and I’ll be back.

  6. Kevin C Barron12/15/2020 at 4:08 pm

    Good Content, but a bit slow at times


    The course was well prepared and the presenter is very knowledgeable with respect to the subject matter. It is a a worth case study of the interplay of engineering decisions with respect to financing and contract award, especially as it relates to lowest bid or proposing a value added design that involves “untested” methodology.

    In my opinion a worthy tweak to the seminar would be to spend a little less time on the history upfront, especially the history that predates the construction decision. More time spent on the decision, the outcome and the investigation as it relates to ethics and decision making would offer some more insight into the topic at hand in my opinion.

  7. Susan C Hyler12/15/2020 at 4:03 pm

    Learning from Bridge Failure: Ethical Issues from Tacoma Narrows Collapse


    Loved the history of the bridge and very interesting the comparison of similar suspension bridges in review of the bridge collapse. Enjoyed the video of collapse.

  8. Peter Girard12/15/2020 at 3:57 pm


    Very interesting class. Many unexpected influences to the design process

  9. 3

    Interesting topic, but I would have liked more review of the ethical implications of the design choices; including discussion of personal (individual) versus corporate/municipal/regulatory.

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#engineering #ethics #civilengineer

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